Saturday, February 5, 2011

The Anatomy of a Day in Distress

Sometimes it feels like our life is a very complicated puzzle. Each Sunday night, I have to place together all the different pieces of the week, fitting each of us into each other to accommodate our ever-changing schedules.

This is delicate work. Usually, things work out. The puzzle picture comes together the way it should and we are busy, but happy.

Occasionally, the whole thing falls apart. Yesterday was one those days.

It started out being balanced pretty precariously anyway. This gets slightly boring and detail oriented now, so feel free to look away.

The collapse began with the news that Eric had to unexpectedly work. That screwed things up right away. I had a lunch planned with out of town friends, at the same time that Eric was supposed to take little Lou to his very first "real" friend's birthday party. I scrapped the lunch plans. No problem, that was pretty me-focused and obviously the first thing to go.

When we got up yesterday morning, both Finny and Molly were feeling sick. I kept them home, hoping that things would turn around for them for a recess drop-off. It didn't.

Well, I still had to get Lukey to the birthday party, so I dragged all the kids to drop him off. Not a bad plan, I thought. I didn't like to drop him off, but I know the other mother pretty well and I knew she wouldn't mind under the circumstances.

We get to Granville Island for the party and Finny won't get out of the car. She feel wretched. I beg. She comes.

We get up there to leave our boy and he won't be left. At all.

Molly, who says she now feels much better, volunteers to stay with him while I take Finny home. All good. So I pay for Molly to go in the Adventure Zone and leave with Finny.

Finny won't go. She is devastated that both Molly and Lukey are now at a birthday party and she is not. I get that and try to console her. I look at the time and I see that it isn't really worth it to go all the way home just to get back in the car to come back. Finny and I find a place to sit down.

She pukes. Once in the bathroom downstairs. Forty-five minutes later, in the upstairs bathroom. SO, I guess she really was sick. Good to know.

We pick up Lukey and Molly. Lukey has peed a "tiny little bit...or it could be juice, Mummy"...

Here's the kicker. I had this work stuff that I absolutely had to do. No choice but to drive across town and park two blocks from my work studio and drag the kids up three flights of stairs to get this stuff done. I stick them in a room with Sharpies and scrap paper while I quickly scan some photos for a book.

Lukey comes to find me because he needs to pee. The only toilet is broken. I make him pee in the sink. Problem averted. Get me home.

Finny comes out looking green. I rush her to the same broken bathroom and she dry heaves in the same sink. GET ME HOME.

I finish scanning as fast as I can, gather my children and walk them down the three flights of stairs and walk the two blocks to get the car. I carried Finny the whole way, whispering into her ear that she really took one for the family team. On a day that she just wanted to be in bed, she was dragged all over the place and never complained once. I, on the other hand...

Molly came home and puked. Finny puked five more times. At least we were home.

If life is a puzzle, yesterday the pieces got chewed up, swallowed and regurgitated...

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